Dry eyes are uncomfortable and can often cause your eyes to sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, in a dry environment, or after looking at a computer or smartphone for a few hours. It can affect how well you see, as well as how comfortable your eyes are throughout the day. If you suffer from difficulty wearing contact lenses, watery eyes, or eye fatigue, it can have a massive impact on your day.
Did you know? 3.2 million women in America suffer from itching, burning and irritation of the eyes.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
For some people, dry eyes can be caused by the lack of tears or decreased tear production; however, dry eyes can also be caused as a result of aging, hormone changes, autoimmune disease, inflamed eyelid glands, or ocular allergies.
Other factors that can cause dry eyes are menopause, certain medical conditions like thyroid disorders, certain medications, and poor ocular hygiene. The signs and symptoms vary greatly and typically affect both eyes.
Can Dry Eyes Affect Vision? Yes, if untreated dry eyes can have long-term effects on your eyes and can cause blurry vision, a common side effect of dry eye syndrome.
Does Dry Eye Go Away?
Dry eyes can be both a temporary or chronic condition. If it is chronic, this means it is a long term condition that can decrease in severity over time, perhaps even get better, but will not go away completely. It is important to address dry eyes, not only to gain relief from the typical stinging and burning sensations, but if it is not treated, it can cause your oil glands to stop working permanently. Luckily, there are now a lot of methods for relief. Read on to learn about the best treatments.
Tears are needed to nourish the eyes. Without proper moisture, dry eyes can lead to impaired vision.
Dry Eye Do’s & Don’ts
For those diagnosed with dry eye syndrome (DES), it is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. For example, it may occur if you don’t produce enough tears, or if you produce poor-quality tears. This tear deficiency leads to inflammation and damage of the eye’s surface. For immediate treatments you can do to help treat dry eyes, check out the below do and don’t list.
6 Do’s for Dry Eyes:
- Keep your eyes clean. This may seem self explanatory but ocular health is essential to prevent further eye irritation.
- Rest your eyes with occasional breaks, particularly when using a computer or phone screen for long stretches.
- Ensure your computer screen is at eye level to avoid creating additional eye strain.
- Create moisture in your home or office by using a humidifier.
- Focus on your sleep hygiene. When you have adequate sleep, it allows your eyes to rest.
- Take out your contacts after 12 hours of use. Wearing contact lenses for an extended period of time can cause your eyes to dry out. Do not sleep in your contact lenses.
3 Don’ts for Dry Eyes:
- Avoid irritants like smoke, dust, and arid climates or locations.
- When possible, do not over consume alcohol and limit or refrain from cigarette use.
- Limit time in heavily air conditioned, or heated buildings, such as offices, malls, or restaurants.
Eye Drops & Treatment Options for Dry Eyes (3 Options)
There are a couple of treatments, such as artificial tears, that can provide short term relief. However, more effective and long term treatments are now available.
1. Artificial Tears (Eye Drops)
If you have temporary dry eye, or experience mild discomfort from extended computer use, reading, school work, or other environmental situations, artificial tears can be an ideal treatment for dry eye. They work best when coupled with good ocular hygiene.
Artificial tears usually are the first step in dry eye treatment — alongside good eye hygiene.
There are plenty of brand options when it comes to artificial tears, with many available over the counter, meaning you are able to purchase without a prescription. It can be overwhelming with the number of options available. Similar to many other products, artificial tear brands provide varied lengths of relief.
If the package indicates it has low viscosity, it means the solution is “thin” or watery. These solutions are great for providing quick relief, with little to no burning sensation when you apply them. However, the relief tends to be short term, requiring frequent application in order to maintain sufficient relief.
In comparison, high viscosity artificial tears provide longer lasting relief. It can cause a mild burning sensation and vision blur that resolves quickly. This type of drop is more gel-like in consistency. This can help provide clear vision for longer stretches of time throughout your work day, but requires more forethought to use because if you need immediately clear vision, such as for driving, it would not be the ideal choice.
Due to the large range of artificial tears available, finding the best option for you can make a significant impact on your day to day life. We recommend speaking with your eye doctor to determine the best options for your lifestyle. Your Optometrist can provide directions on when and how often to use the eye drops.
2. Steroid Eye Drops
Artificial tears can provide immediate relief for burning and eye irritation but do not properly treat eye inflammation, the root cause of dry eye syndrome. If this is the case, your optometrist may suggest using steroid eye drops.
Steroid eye drops are frequently used in addition to artificial tears as part of a more long-term treatment plan. There is the potential for side effects, so prior to your optometrist prescribing it, it is important to disclose your health history. The chance of side effects are lower with short-term use, but long term use of steroid eye drops can increase the risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma. This is why it is vital to book an appointment with your eye doctor to review the best treatment for you.
3. Radio Frequency – No Surgery, No Needles and No Downtime
Radio Frequency is an advanced, non-invasive, heat and laser technology that helps to treat dry eye disease. It also has added beauty benefits, and can be an effective treatment for reducing the appearance of:
- Facial Wrinkles
- Fine lines around the eyes
- Facial creases
- Loose skin
Radio frequency technology is used to gently heat the skin, which helps open the oil glands on the eyelids while promoting collagen and elastin activity. This helps to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes as well as the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles in and around the eyes. The radio frequency treatment involves No Surgery, No Needles and No Downtime and gives the patient a warm, soothing sensation in the treatment zone.
It almost seems too good to be true, but our new Radio Frequency treatment lets you return to your normal daily activities immediately following the treatment! It treats dry eyes, has substantial anti-aging benefits, is comfortable, safe and non-invasive and can take as little as 30 minutes.
Eliminate eye fatigue, stinging, itchiness and leave with an improved skin tone and a natural glow. Book a dry eye and/or ocular aesthetics consultation with us today! Our certified providers will educate you on this technology and help you find the best treatment options for your skin and eyes.
Best of all, Radio Frequency is comfortable, safe, non-invasive and can take as little as 30 minutes!